Your food processor can do most of your kitchen prep work for you, but can it dice your vegetables too? Are you considering purchasing a food processor and are curious to know if it can make dicing easier? We've researched what a typical food processor is capable of, so you don't have to.
Food processors cannot dice vegetables, but they can finely chop them. Chopping typically leaves you with larger or more uneven pieces than dicing does. For most recipes, using chopped vegetables works just as well as using diced vegetables. If you are focused on the presentation of the dish, you may want to take the extra time to dice your vegetables by hand to achieve a uniform appearance.
There are ways that your food processor can still save you some time, even if you do need to achieve perfectly diced vegetables for your dish. There are also many other ways your food processor life easier the kitchen. If you do not own a food processor, we also provide tips on how to get a perfect cut without this nifty machine. Keep reading to find out how you can make the most of your food processor.
Use A Food Processor To Slice Vegetable Dicing Time In Half
You've just learned that you cannot dice with a food processor. But, can a food processor slice vegetables? Yes! A food processor can make slicing your vegetables a cinch, as long as you have the proper blade attachment. Equip your food processor with a slicing blade to make food preparation quicker and easier.
Look for a food processor that includes a blade with thickness adjustment. As you will soon see, the thickness of slices is essential if you intend to use your food processor to help speed up the dicing process.
Your food processor may not be able to do all the work when it comes to dicing, but it can get you halfway there by slicing first. We've taken the time to find out how food processors can help to dice several different vegetables, cutting your preparation time down significantly. Let's take a look at the pre-dice, food processor slicing process.
Can You Dice Potatoes In A Food Processor?
Grab the slicing attachment for your food processor and set it to at least 1/4" thick. Wash potatoes, and peel if preferred. Then cut each potato in half before placing it through the processor's chute—slice by pushing one half through the food processor at a time. Remove potato slices from the processor's bowl. Use a knife and cutting board to dice the evenly sliced potatoes.
Shun knives are highly rated in the culinary world and include a lifetime warranty. You will dice potatoes in minutes using this efficient knife.
Can You Dice Carrots In A Food Processor?
Adjust your food processor's slicing blade to at least 1/4" thick. Cut off carrot tops, and set aside for later use. Wash and peel the carrots. Then cut off the ends where the carrots are too thin to dice. Cut each carrot into lengths that will fit into your food processor's chute. Insert the carrot pieces into the chute horizontally, then remove the slices from the bowl and finish by dicing carrots by hand using a knife.
This Hamilton Beach food processor is one of the models with the ability to adjust the slicing blade for thickness.
Can You Dice Tomatoes In A Food Processor?
Get your food processor's slicing disc and set the thickness to 1/4." Wash tomatoes and use a knife to cut off the tops and bottoms. If any tomato is too large to fit into the processor's chute, cut it to fit before pushing through. Make sure to drop each tomato into the chute with the flat side facing down. Remove the tomato slices from the bowl and use a knife to finish dicing for perfectly shaped cubes.
This set of chef's knives from Cangshan is a more affordable option in comparison to Shun, but it is still a high quality set for domestic cooks.
Can You Dice Onions In A Food Processor?
The layers in onions make it nearly impossible to dice an onion by using a food processor effectively. Slicing the onion in the food processor is not recommended because it can cause the layers to break apart, creating more work for you, and resulting in unevenly sliced pieces. The best method to achieve a perfectly diced onion is by using either a knife or a mandolin.
This mandolin can be used on all kinds of vegetables and includes seven different blades for different cut thicknesses and sizes.
How Do You Cut Vegetables In A Food Processor?
Food processors can be outfitted with different blades that will achieve different cutting styles. There are processor blades capable of mincing, chopping, shredding, and slicing vegetables. First, while the processor is turned off, attach your desired blade by closely the following instructions provided in the owner's manual.
Next, prepare your vegetables to be either fed into the processor via a chute or dropped into the bowl. We will look at different types of cuts to learn how to prepare vegetables for each process.
Your food processor is also a useful tool for grinding nuts and pureeing food. Grinding is not typically used for vegetables but can be a helpful preparation technique for nuts, seeds, and spices. We will not cover pureeing specifically here because pureeing changes the consistency of food rather than simply cutting, slicing, or shredding.
How To Chop Vegetables In Food Processor
Before placing into the bowl of the food processor, coarsely chop the vegetable into large pieces by hand. You can do this for potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and numerous other types of vegetables. Place the coarsely chopped pieces into the bowl of the food processor. Make sure the lid is securely fastened, then use the pulse button to chop.
How To Shred Vegetables Using A Food Processor
To shred vegetables, first cut vegetables in half by hand - this works best for oblong or large vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, or turnips. For slender vegetables like carrots, celery, or zucchini, you do not need to first cut in half. Equip the food processor with the chute. Make sure the lid is secure. Applying even pressure, gently press the vegetable through the chute, allowing time for the shredding blade to work efficiently.
How To Slice Vegetables Using A Food Processor
Equip the food processor with the slicing disc, select the appropriate thickness if possible. Chop bulky vegetables, like potatoes or beets in half. Next, attach the chute and make sure the lid is securely closed. Gently press the vegetable through the feeder tube to slice.
How To Mince Vegetables Using A Food Processor
Mincing is particularly useful to prepare tiny pieces of vegetables to add to soups, sauces, or purees. If necessary, chop vegetables like celery or carrots by hand into small chunks before adding to the food processor bowl for mincing. Vegetables like onions and garlic can be peeled and dropped directly into the bowl. Secure the lid, and pulse to mince.
How To Dice Vegetables Without a Food Processor?
Dicing vegetables without a food processor is relatively simple, although it can be far more time-consuming if you have a lot of ingredients to dice. The fastest way to dice without a food processor would be to use either an electric or manual food chopper to make uniform pieces.
Alternatively, using a knife is the tried and true method to dice vegetables. Techniques to dice using a knife will vary, depending on the type of vegetable you are preparing. For example:
How To Dice A Tomato By Hand
First, slice off the top of the tomato. Then, place the tomato onto its bottom with the top facing upward. Make several cuts downward, from top to bottom, at evenly spaced intervals but do not cut completely through the bottom. Turn the tomato onto its side, and cut lengthwise through the tomato. Those cuts you've made previously will fall into diced pieces.
How To Dice A Carrot By Hand
Watch this video tutorial for great tips on how to peel, trim, and dice a carrot into uniform pieces:
As you can see, dicing vegetables by hand is largely variant depending on the type of knife you use, the vegetable being diced, and personal preference for the size pieces.
What Else Can I Do With A Food Processor?
A food processor can be used for much more than just vegetables; they are great for all kinds of food preparation. You can use your food processor to mix doughs, make ground meat, puree homemade baby food, and much more. These machines are modern marvels that allow us to spend a little less time in the kitchen while still reaping all the same health benefits of homemade foods.
Food processors are a great help in the kitchen, and they are useful for many different cuts making food prep a snap. They can't do everything a knife can do, like dicing, but processors can speed the task. Remember to practice safety at all times when handling a knife, a chopper, or a food processor. These items are all very sharp and can easily cause injury if you're not careful. Now that you've learned how to dice vegetables efficiently, nothing will slow you down in the kitchen.
We can help you find the right tool for the job; read our post, "7 Types of Chef Knives You Should Know".